Philippines Secretary of Labour and Employment Silvestre Bello, left, speaks in Whitehorse on Aug.28, following a speech by Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai, right. The two signed a letter of intent which is to help create a more streamlined process under the Yukon Nominee Program to help address the territory’s labour shortage. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Yukon, Philippines sign employment agreement

‘Will pave the way for a stronger partnership between the Yukon and the Philippines’

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce chair Mike Pemberton says he’s hopeful a letter of intent signed Aug. 28 by Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai and Government of the Philippines Secretary of Labour and Employment Silvestre Bello will eventually lead to a faster, more streamlined process under the Yukon Nominee Program to help address the territory’s labour shortage.

The nominee program allows Yukon employers to seek international staff for positions that can’t be filled locally.

“We truly, truly need labour,” Pemberton said in an Aug. 28 interview, following the signing of the letter of intent.

The signing ceremony at the Yukon Transportation Museum was attended by a delegation of Filipino government officials, Yukon government officials and numerous local business owners and staff who have come to the territory from the Philippines to work here.

The letter of intent outlines plans to establish a framework for negotiations on immigration programs and cooperation on human resource development between the Philippines and the territory.

Negotiations would deal with matters such as matching Filipino workers with employment opportunities in the Yukon under the Yukon Nominee Program; system enhancements for the recruitment, protection and placement of Filipino workers in the territory; and a public information campaign on the Yukon Nominee Program.

Further details on those initiatives is not yet available with Pillai stating at the signing it will be Yukon government staff working on the details for the framework.

“It’s much needed work,” Pemberton said of the initiatives listed.

Approximately 40 per cent of those coming to the Yukon to work through the nominee program come from the Philippines, Pillai said.

Pemberton said the “details will be in the pudding,” but he remains hopeful the agreement will be good for both the territory and those coming to work from the Philippines.

Prior to signing off on the letter Bello said the agreement recognizes “the global reality” of the labour market.

He went on to state it “will pave the way for a stronger partnership between the Yukon and the Philippines, which will foster the protection of rights and promotion of Filipino workers or persons.”

Pillai, meanwhile, highlighted the important role the Filipino community is playing in the territory.

“I would like to thank Secretary Bello for travelling this long way and seeking deeper cooperation between the Philippines and Yukon,” he said. “We value the Filipino community and the cultural and economic contributions of its members to the territory. These negotiations will make it easier for Filipinos to come to Yukon while reducing costs and red tape for employers.”

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. Politicians return for the spring sitting of the assembly March 4. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Analysis: What to expect in spring sitting of the legislature

They’re back on March 4, but election speculation is looming large

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

Most Read